NEXT Restaurant’s Delicious Tribute To The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017!

Time To Taste The World’s Best Food!

Here is a food lover’s dream come true: a taste of the world’s best food – all thanks to a single restaurant – that has worked with these culinary temples to create a menu of the greatest dishes from around the world!

Here I am outside NEXT restaurant in Chicago – the title on the door says it all, as the press release confirms:

“Grant Achatz and the ultra creative team at NEXT, an ever evolving restaurant whose menu and style changes around every three months, will present a unique ‘World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ themed dinner on August 23 – December 31.

The dinner will feature a collection of famous dishes from some of the biggest names on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list: Daniel Humm, Dan Barber, Virgilio Martinez, Massimo Bottura, Gaggan Anand and Andre Chiang – to name just a few.

18 chefs in total will be part of the collaboration, although they won’t actually cook at NEXT they will send exact recipes so Achatz and crew can recreate and produce a menu that will essentially invite diners to travel the world through their tongue.”


This is the third menu designed by the restaurant this year – more on the others later – bravo to visionary Chefs Grant Achataz, Jenner Tomaska and Ed Tinoco, who you see here laboring to create dishes from the world’s greatest restaurants!

Ready To Go?

My wife Alex and I ate at NEXT over the Labor Day weekend.

Here is the meal, picture by picture – and it begins when you sit down, because you are greeted by these delicate roses at your table – yes, it’s the first course:

Rose, Apple, Pomegranate
Quique Acosta / Alicante, Spain

A beautiful fragrant rose from Quique Acosta in Spain offers up an apple rose petal inside…

You use tweezers to takeout the delicate apple – by the way, you are given a list of the dishes so you can always follow along – we chose to be surprised, but I have listed the dish the way it is on the list – also on the table is your next course:

Jerusalem Artichoke
Walnut, Rye
Geranium / Copenhagen, Denmark

Nestled in the moss is an artichoke – since the acclaimed Geranium restaurant in Copenhagen is known to foraging for natural products in the wild…

Next up is a dish with an amazing name:

An Oyster’s Frozen Kiss
Oyster, Radish Flower
Muguritz / San Sebastian, Spain

This is a frozen orb with a delicate poached oyster resting on top – you “kiss” the top and get an amazing burst of oyster goodness!

We head now to New York City for some deconstructed Eggs Benedict!

Eggs Benedict
Caviar, Asparagus, Ham
Eleven Madison Park / New York

This is an incredible dish – delicate egg custard, asparagus and ham, with caviar – and the restaurant sent these actual serving cups over!

Of course, you need english muffins to mop up the goodness, and they are set right next to the dish!

Eleven Madison Park was named the #1 restaurant in the world for 2017 – and my wife and I ate there last year – here is a look at the experience:

See more of the amazing magic at my story here:

Back to this incredibly culinary experience:

Marine Soil
Sea Urchin, Jicama, Razor Clam
Central / Lima, Peru

From Peru, this incredible dish is sea urchin and jicama resting atop diced razor clam….more seafood next:

Bagna Cauda, Artichoke, Squid Ink
Mirazur / Menton, France

The long strips of squid on the left are silky smooth.

Next up is a unique take on a classic:

Bison, Sunchoke
Estella / New York

This delicious nibble is perfect because Bison has a strong, smoky favor, so you don’t need a lot – it was served with some great grilled bread…

Badger Flame Beet
Blue Hill at Stone Barns / Pocantico Hills, USA

A nice organic, locally-grown beet that is like a crisp, thick potato chip is next, thanks to Chef Dan Barber at Blue Hill – who sent the seeds so the Chefs at NEXT could grow the beets in Chicago!

Next up comes the dish that is served like this:

Riso Cacaio e Pepe
Parmigiano Reggiano
Osteria Francescana / Moderno, Italy

One of the world’s greatest Italian restaurants is Osteria Francescana, and they offered up an unbelievable Risotto dish!

As you can see, Alex was wowed by the dish. Honestly, we’ve never taste a risotto this good before.

Next up is a dish from Germany:

Wasabi, Mango, Thai Vinaigrette
Restaurant Tim Raue / Berlin, Germany

The wasabi is sprinkled like rice krispies over the Langoustine, which sits on the mango.
We got the reserved wine service as well, which also offered up many terrific surprises like this one:

A Sommelier did an amazing job pairing wines for all of these different cuisines – jumping all over the world – and as always, was incredibly friendly and full of great information about the wines and how they match the food.

Back to the food!

Aubergine, Fermented Peppers
De Librije / Zwolle, Netherlands

This beautiful monkfish dish from De Librije was next, followed by an amazing scallop dish from Quintonil in Mexico City – as they warned us, we were traveling all over the world tonight!

“Vuelve a la Vida”
Scallop, Beef Tongue, Salsa Bruja
Quintonil / Mexico City, Mexico

The sweet, clean flavor of the scallop matched perfectly with the smoky beef tongue.

A very unique palate cleanser was next:

All Parts Of The Pumpkin
The Skin, The Seeds, The Flesh
Attica / Melbourne, Australia

That’s right, pumpkin three ways! Here is how it was served:

We were headed into the home stretch now, but there was still so much more to come!

Parsnip, Almond, Lavender
Next / Chicago

Yes, the NEXT Chefs contributed an original dish as well – but where is the advertised Squab?

There you go! You cut open this delicate blanket of custard to uncover a savory bite of awesome…

Now, off to Singapore for a dish they told us was the Chef’s first “memory” of loving food:

Foie Gras, Black Truffle, Chives
Restaurant Andre / Singapore

Well, he remembers it well! Delicious, rich, but almost pudding-like, and the truffle offers a hint of nuttiness.

Now we have another palate cleanser – an iced apple and chanterelle granite from Denmark:

Chanterelles, Granite
Relae / Copenhagen, Denmark

Now we are refreshed and ready for the big finale…

Alinea is Chef Grant Achatz’s three Michelin star restaurant in Chicago, and he created an interactive dessert that is as much fun to watch be prepared as it is to eat – an amazingly colorful and inventive dessert served table side…first, they lay down a rubber mat on the table, and then this happens:


Milk Chocolate, Blueberry, Yogurt
Alinea / Chicago

Chef Grant Achatz created this amazingly playful dessert at Alinea, his Michelin three-star restaurant. Tonight, Chef Tinoco came to our table and “dressed” it for dessert, and you just take the pieces of milk chocolate and run it through the different flavors…whcih we did right after I got this last shot of Alex…

This is a delicious and creative way to end this feast, and then we were lucky enough to be taken into he kitchen to thank Chefs Tinoco and Tomaska in person…

Thanks to Chefs Tomaska and Tinoco for taking us inside their kitchen, and bravo to the entire NEXT team – what an experience!

It’s our third culinary adventure here in 2017 – our last one took us to the movies:

Underneath this cannoli is a picture of a gun – “leave the gun, take the cannoli” is the iconic line from “The Godfather” – you can see this tribute to Hollywood here:

We also attended their meal that celebrated ancient Rome, including this bread that was cooked at the table:

You can see this entire meal here:

Remember, the “world’s 50 best” menu continue until the end of the year, so if you love a great culinary experience, you need to get to NEXT!

Categories: Art, Awards, Books / Media, chicago, cookbooks, Exotic Travel, Food, food blog, Food Review, Memoirs, Recipes, Restaurants, Talent/Celebrities, Technology, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, Wacky Food, wine

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27 replies

  1. You are living the life. hungry again

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Those looks amazing!!! The Pigs bladder Oh my God!!!
    Creativity at its best. No words…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, loved all the photos and descriptions. I did think one looked like tripe though (had the same waffle shaped texture). All looks delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This must have been an absolute bliss of an experience. You always visit the most exquisite places.


  5. I love it when food is presented as an art form.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What an exciting life you and Alex lead John. These dishes all look scrumptious, but I was really drooling over that chocolate dessert in Chicago!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You do eat in some truly amazing places, John. I have never dined on anything as sumptuous and varied as that.
    But I did have my first-ever cannoli on Sunday. A tiny one, served as a mini-dessert in an Italian restaurant. It was filled with lemon cream, and delicious.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, it all looks so delicious. Now, I’m feeling really hungry.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Reblogged this on johnrieber and commented:

    A celebration of food!


  10. Amazing! Now I am hungry!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What an awesome experience! The edible art looked tantalizing. Glad you two had a great time. Next time I’m in Chicago, I’ll have to check it out. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


  1. Grandma’s Cooking In The Kitchen! A Staten Island Restaurant Hires Unique Cooks – The World’s Nonnas! – johnrieber

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